Door Actuator Removal and Installation
Having no interior heat on the 1997 to 1998 Lincoln Mark VIII
is a common problem. The problem is a part that Ford calls A/C Electric
Blend Door Actuator ( F7LZ-19E616-AD) that costs only about $25, but requires
over 6 hours of labor to replace. The cost to install this part at a dealer
is $600 to $900. It would be far better to make the part so it does not break
so easily. It is advised to reinforce the part so that you may not need to
replace this part so often. See Blend
Door Actuator Reinforcement
for a procedure to reinforce this part. The following procedure to remove
the old actuator and install the new one takes 5 to 6 hours. With practice,
you may be able to do it in 3 hours.
- Put the steering wheel in the furthest out and down position.
- Disconnect the battery ground cable. This is very important to prevent shorts
or your airbags from going off.
- Put the parking brake on and shift the car into first. This is to allow
better access to the instrument panel. Chock the wheels to prevent the car
- Remove the panel with the rear window defroster button, by pulling back
on it from the upper corners. Use your fingers to do this. Do not use a screwdriver
as you will damage the panels. Unplug the defroster and the heated seat switches
if so equipped.
- Remove the radio using the special U-shaped Ford radio removal tool that
fits into the four holes in the front of the radio. Put the tools in until
they click, then push them laterally and pull towards yourself. Remove the
radio connections and antennae and put the radio aside.
- Remove the wood instrument panel center panel screws which are under the
panel you just removed.
- Pull back on the inside of the wood instrument panel center panel to remove
it. Unplug the ground wire of the panel by pressing in the small button.
- Remove the six screws under the panels for the center console support bracket.
- Remove the mobile phone if so equipped. Then remove the two screws under
the rubber mat in the center console glove compartment.
- Carefully unclip the the rear of the gear shift selector housing from the
floor console. This is very fragile, so work slowly and carefully.
- Disconnect the wiring harness for the cigarette lighter and center glove
box light and then remove the center console by pulling it back and up.
- Remove the two screws on the underside of the driver's lower instrument
panel. Pull back the lower instrument panel to remove it.
- Disconnect the three steering column electrical connectors.
- Remove the four nuts on the underside of the steering column. Remove the
u-shaped column retaining rod and the steering column over-travel prevention
cables which are held down by the nuts closest to the driver.( If you do not
have the steering column over-travel prevention cables, then you need to have
them installed to prevent future expensive problems with the steering tilt
mechanism. The cables were part of a recall by Ford. It should be no charge
to install them by the Lincoln dealer.)
- Allow the steering column to come down to rest on the lower instrument panel
reinforcement bar. I kept the lower duct in place with no resulting damage.
- Remove the two screws of the upper instrument steering column cover that
are located on the instrument cover and remove the screws.
- Remove the headlight switch knob by pulling it back.
- Grasp the the left side of the headlight switch panel and remove it. Do
not use a screwdriver as you damage this panel. Twist out the mini-bulb connector
on the underside of this panel.
- Release the clips of the instrument dimmer switch. Pull out the dimmer switch
and disconnect the electrical connector.
Remove the two screws on the headlight switch panel base.
Remove the two screws on the top underside of the instrument
panel. Pull the instrument cluster finish panel back.
- Pull up on the front of the plastic door sill panels until the they unclip
. The sill panels do not need to be completely remove. Just the front needs
to be unclipped.
- Remove the left and right cowl kick panels by pulling back on them.
- Remove the left and right roof side inner front moldings by unclipping them.
Unclip the mobile phone speaker on the left molding if so equipped.
- Using your fingers, lift the rear of the rear edge of the instrument panel
defroster grille opening. Disconnect the A/C sunload sensor on the right side
of the panel. Pull back the panel to remove it.
- Remove the three back pushpins on the underside of the glove box which hold
up the black instrument panel insulator. Disconnect the courtesy light by
twisting it and remove the black instrument panel insulator.
- Unhook the cable on the right side of the glove box by sliding the cable
clip out of the notched slot on the glove box Remove the three screws holding
the glove box hinge to the instrument panel. Remove the glove box.
- Remove the two left hand instrument panel 15 mm cowl nuts. One is located
under the kick panel. The other is about six inches deep in the instrument
panel. You can access it with a socket wrench with a 6 to 8 inch extension.
- Remove the two center instrument panel support nuts located in the center
front near the floor under the removed center panels.
- Remove the two bolts and the bracket that connects the instrument panel
to the floor on the drivers side near the forward edge of the console.
- Remove the one right hand instrument panel 15 mm cowl bolt located under
the right side kick panel that was removed.
- Remove the six instrument panel top cowl bolts which are located under the
cowl defroster grille panel that was removed.
- Now comes the big part. Pull the entire instrument cowl back about three
inches on the right and an inch on the left.
- Now look through the opening from which the glove box was removed towards
the front and center. You will see a gray door control lever. This the lever
that you can pull down a little when then the blend door actuator arm breaks
to get some heat. This will not work if the blend door actuator has completely
come off the shaft of the motor. The gray arm works in tandem with the black
arm of the blend door actuator via the flat long connector that holds them
Remove the four screws that hold down the A/C Electric Blend Door Actuator.
Three of the screws are visible. The fourth one is in the upper left hand
corner. A 1/4 inch ratchet wrench is useful for removing these screws. I
also found that a 5/16 inch GearWrench worked great for getting at the hard
to get screws to remove and then later install them in the new Blend Door
- You will find that the A/C Electric Blend Door Actuator comes out leaving
the arm with the broken shaft still attached to the long flat connector between
the arms. Remove the electrical connector from the A/C Electric Blend Door
Actuator. Pull out the broken black door arm out of the hole of the blend
door. Carefully bend out the end of the back arm to remove the post of the
back arm from the long flat connector.
- Position the new A/C Electric Blend Door Actuator under the dash in the
correct orientation. Connect the electrical connection.
- Carefully attach the long flat connector onto the black arm of the new A/C
Electric Blend Door Actuator by bending back the clip retainer of the black
- Reinstall the screws attach the A/C Electric Blend Door Actuator.
- Push back the instrument panel cowl. Use a screwdriver to pull back the
left and right front weather-stripping over the cowl on each side. Start from
the top and move the screwdriver down in a smooth motion.
- Reverse the steps above to reinstall all the parts you removed. Torque the
four nuts on the underside of the steering column to 26 to 33 ft-lb. Torque
the left and right instrument cowl nuts to 40 to 52 ft-LB Torque nuts holding
the instrument panel to floor bracket to 20 to 24 ft-LB Torque The instrument
panel center support nuts to 8 to 10 ft-LB